Lower bone mass in infancy linked to HIV medication

Pregnant, HIV-positive women who took tenofovir disoproxil fumarate during their third trimester gave birth to babies with lower bone mineral content, compared with women not taking the drug, according to data from a recent NIH-funded study.

George K. Siberry, MD, medical officer with the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and colleagues used DXA scans to assess the bone mineral content of infants whose mothers were taking either tenofovir or other HIV treatments during pregnancy.

Results from the study demonstrated that compared with infants exposed to other anti-HIV medications (n = 69), bone mineral content was 12% lower in infants exposed to tenofovir in-womb (n = 74), within the first 4 weeks after birth.

Of note, the researchers said it is unclear whether the lower bone mineral content will be linked to more fractures, or if bone mineral content can be regained with aging.

According to a press release, rather than restricting the use of tenofovir in pregnant women, which has been successful in blocking mother-to-child HIV transmission, more research should be conducted to understand bone development among children born to mothers taking tenofovir during pregnancy.

“At this point, we can say that those who care for pregnant women with HIV and their children should be aware that prescribing tenofovir to pregnant women could be a concern for their infants’ bones,” Siberry said in the release. “Families should keep in close touch with their physicians to monitor their child’s bone development.”  

Pregnant, HIV-positive women who took tenofovir disoproxil fumarate during their third trimester gave birth to babies with lower bone mineral content, compared with women not taking the drug, according to data from a recent NIH-funded study.

George K. Siberry, MD, medical officer with the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and colleagues used DXA scans to assess the bone mineral content of infants whose mothers were taking either tenofovir or other HIV treatments during pregnancy.

Results from the study demonstrated that compared with infants exposed to other anti-HIV medications (n = 69), bone mineral content was 12% lower in infants exposed to tenofovir in-womb (n = 74), within the first 4 weeks after birth.

Of note, the researchers said it is unclear whether the lower bone mineral content will be linked to more fractures, or if bone mineral content can be regained with aging.

According to a press release, rather than restricting the use of tenofovir in pregnant women, which has been successful in blocking mother-to-child HIV transmission, more research should be conducted to understand bone development among children born to mothers taking tenofovir during pregnancy.

“At this point, we can say that those who care for pregnant women with HIV and their children should be aware that prescribing tenofovir to pregnant women could be a concern for their infants’ bones,” Siberry said in the release. “Families should keep in close touch with their physicians to monitor their child’s bone development.”